Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in the Portland Metro Area

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1 TO: FROM: SUBJECT: The Honorable Amanda Marshall, US Attorney for the District of Oregon; Miriam Green, Department of Human Services Oregon Child Welfare Program Manager; Erin Ellis, the Sexual Assault Resource Center Executive Director Christopher Carey and Lena Teplitsky Portland State University Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in the Portland Metro Area DATE: August 5, 2013 I. Introduction The purpose of this research memorandum is to quantify and analyze trends among CSEC victims in the Portland Metro Area. Christopher Carey, PhD, JD of Portland State University and Lena Teplitsky, Portland State MPH Candidate, collected quantitative and qualitative data on documented CSEC cases in the Portland Metro Area between December 2012 and June The data includes the years 2009 through Quantifying CSEC cases will present lawmakers, social service providers and other stakeholders with data that will help to establish the scope of the problem in this geographic region, determine trends common among victim profiles, pinpoint characteristics of alleged perpetrators, and provide information regarding treatment and recovery options. II. Scope: For the purposes of this memorandum CSEC is the sexual abuse and remuneration in cash or kind to the child or a third person or persons. The child is treated as a sexual object and as a commercial object. 1 1 Clift, Stephen; Simon Carter (2000). Tourism and Sex. Cengage Learning EMEA. pp ISBN

2 A. Legal Definitions CSEC encompasses several crimes. Legal definitions specific to prostitution and human trafficking as they relate to child sexual abuse and exploitation include: Child Trafficking: Anytime someone under age 18 is involved in commercial sex. Compelling Prostitution: Encompasses aiding or facilitating a person under 18 years of age to engage in prostitution, inducing or causing the spouse, child or stepchild of the offender to engage in prostitution or use of force or intimidation to compel any person of any age to engage in prostitution. Promoting Prostitution: Encompasses owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise maintaining a place of prostitution or prostitution enterprise, receiving or agreeing to receive money or other property derived from prostitution activity, or engaging in any conduct that instates, aids or facilitates an act or enterprise of prostitution. Human Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transporting, obtaining, or maintaining of a person by means of force, fraud or coercion, for purposes of involuntary servitude, debt bondage, slavery, or participation in the sex trade. B. How do victims enter the system? Youth currently in the system have either reached out to an advocacy agency such as the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), or have been referred to the Department of Human Services CSEC Unit through police reports or Multnomah County s Child Abuse Hotline. Multnomah County DHS also assumes responsibility for screening calls for the Washington and Clackamas County hotlines after business hours. While DHS receives reports from all over the state, the majority of victims reflected in DHS data were picked up and reside in Multnomah County. C. Databases Accessed This report draws upon data provided to the researchers by the Department of Human Services CSEC Unit and the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) of Portland. The data pertains to documented CSEC cases from 2009 to The Department of Human Services CSEC Unit works with families/youth who are sexually exploited or are victims of human trafficking. The Sexual Assault Resource Center provides confidential advocacy and case management for CSEC victims. 2

3 III. Methodology Researchers gathered information on all unduplicated CSEC cases on file with DHS and SARC from 2009 to Individual-level data was provided for DHS cases, while SARC provided aggregate data due to differences in reporting requirements. Interviews with DHS case managers and Erin Ellis, Executive Director of SARC, were conducted to ensure data was being properly interpreted. Researchers coded qualitative data for common themes and used STATA data analysis and statistical software to provide descriptive statistics pertaining to all documented cases. IV. Relevant Findings (Tabulations in Appendix) A. Who are the Victims? Between , 469 unduplicated CSEC victims were identified and served by DHS & SARC in the Portland Metro Area. As of July 2013, there are 159 open/active cases between the two agencies. DHS: Open cases have frequent contact with Child Protective Services (CPS) or permanency worker, depending on needs of the child. Cases closed when safe finding is established, when youth ages out of the system at age 21 and no longer needs services, or in cases where the court dismisses custody. SARC: Cases are active upon one contact. Cases marked inactive when there is no contact with victim for three months. A case may reopen at any time. An inactive/closed case does not imply not trafficked. Age of Victims Between 2009 and 2013, 15.5 was the average age at which victims were referred to DHS or SARC. The youngest victim in the system was 8 years old, the oldest 22 years old. These age figures reflect age at first referral to a support agency, not age at which exploitation began to occur. Gender 96.4% of victims are female, close to 2.8% are male, and 0.9% are transgender. Ethnicity 40.5% of victims are Caucasian, 27.1% are African American, and 5.1% are Hispanic. African American youth are disproportionately represented in this sample. African Americans make up 5.8% of Multnomah County s population (2% of the state population), yet they account for 27.1% of CSEC victims

4 B. Trends (DHS and SARC unless otherwise noted) *DHS data reflects all cases (302) *SARC data reflects current open cases (59) Total: 361 Victim is: Parent: 16.6% Adopted: 8.6% Developmentally Delayed: 6.4% Such information is underreported because victims are referred to mental health/iep screenings after the initial screening process, and results rarely make it back onto the screening spreadsheet used by researchers in this analysis. Dealing with Addiction Issues (SARC currently open cases only): 62.1% C. Avenues of Exploitation Gang connection "Gang connection indicates that youth have either been exploited by gang members, are affiliated or members of a gang themselves, or that gang influence plays a large part in their lives. 49.1% of the 159 CSEC youth currently served by DHS and SARC have a gang connection.* *This figure reflects cases that are currently open. Information regarding gang connections was provided to the researchers by DHS case managers, and the Executive Director of SARC. Exploited by Family Member 11.1% of victims have been exploited by a family member. Family History of Exploitation 19.9% of victims served by DHS come from families with a history of exploitation. 4

5 V. Participant Recommendations Residential Treatment Facility Of the victims currently being served by DHS, 40 have been identified by DHS case managers as likely to benefit from a 6-18 month stay in a residential treatment facility, if one were to exist. Such a solution would aim to offer these children rehabilitation and re-integration services in the least-restrictive setting for the recovery process. Enhanced data collection, coordination and tracking DHS & SARC employees agreed that the following data points/trends are important to CSEC prevention & intervention efforts, yet not captured in the data collection process across agencies: (1) substance abuse/addiction data, (2) Crossover Youth (DHS/Oregon Youth Authority) CSEC youth who spend time in the juvenile justice system, and (3) youth in foster care. Goal of coordinating agencies needs to be to create solutions and opportunities for existing victims, where others can ultimately also find a way in. There is currently no centralized database containing information about victims. VI. Limitations Given the covert nature of crimes perpetrated against CSEC victims, cases are widely underreported. As a result, the findings in this report are very conservative. Collecting standardized data for victims is also difficult due to the highly sensitive nature of the information, as well as the perceived danger that may result from disclosure. As a result, there are wide gaps in reporting. VII. Acknowledgements The researchers would like to thank our families, the Department of Human Services, the Sexual Assault Resource Center, Portland State University, and the United States Attorney s Office for their patience and support during this research study. Contact Information: Christopher Carey, PhD, JD Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Academic Coordinator - First Year Experience Program Portland State University Lena Teplitsky School of Community Health Portland State University 5

6 Appendix Data Tables Total # cases ( ): 469 DHS: 302 cases SARC: 167 cases Table 1: Ethnicity (SARC & DHS) Ethnicity African American Asian Asian American Caucasian Caucasian (Hispanic) Caucasian (Hispanic); Native American Caucasian/ African American Guatemalan Haitian Hispanic Hispanic/Latino Middle Eastern Native American Pacific Islander Peruvian/Caucasian UTD Total * Source of UTD (Unable to Determine) cases: 61 from SARC, 19 from DHS. Table 2: Number of 307s (Intake Screening Form) (DHS only) Number of 307s Total * 3 cases missing data. These cases not represented in the table. 6

7 Table 3: Age of Entry into System (SARC & DHS) Age of Entry Missing Total Table 4: Average Age of Entry into System (SARC & DHS) Observations Mean Avg. Age Table 5: Gender of Victims (SARC & DHS) Gender Female Male Transgender Total

8 TRENDS: DHS & SARC Data* *DHS data reflects all cases (302) *SARC data reflects current open cases (59) Total: 361 cases Table 6: Victim is adopted Not adopted Adopted Total Table 7: Victim has a gang connection No gang connection Gang connection Total *These numbers reflect open cases only Table 8: Victim exploited by a family member Not exploited by family Exploited by family Total 360* 100 *1 case unknown, not represented Table 9: Victim s family has a history of exploitation No family history of exploitation Family history of exploitation Total 356* 100 *5 cases unknown, not represented 8

9 Table 10: Victim is a parent Not a parent Parent Total Table 11: Victim is developmentally delayed Not developmentally delayed Developmentally delayed Total Table 12: Victim struggles with addiction *SARC data only* Does not struggle w/ addiction Struggles w/ addiction Total *1 case unknown, not represented Table 13: Victim has been exploited in a strip club *DHS data only* Not exploited in strip club Exploited in strip club Total Table 14: Victim is a member of a street family *DHS data only* Not member of street family Member of street family Total Revised

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